Update 2:44 p.m.
A report from Michigan's Bureau of Elections confirms the group "Stand Up For Democracy" appears to have enough signatures from registered voters in Michigan to put a referendum on the state's emergency manager law on the November ballot.
The recommendation from the Michigan Bureau of Elections is to "certify petition as sufficient."
A challenge to the referendum drive still remains. The Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility has challenged the petition drive alleging five defects in the format of the petitions:
- The type size of the petition heading, REFERENDUM OF LEGISLATION PROPOSED BY INITIATIVE PETITION purportedly does not comply with the requirement of MCL 168.482(1) that it be “printed in capital letters in 14-point boldfaced type [.]”
- The summary that appears on the signature side of the petition form is, in their view, “incomplete and misleading.”
- The petition omits the prior law, 1990 PA 72, which will be revived if 2011 PA 4 is suspended.
- The petition omits the effective date of 2011 PA 4.
- The petition omits 2011 PA 9, which was tie-barred to 2011 PA4.
Citizens in the Stand Up for Democracy Coalition say they were notified by the Board of State Canvassers that the group collected 203,238 valid voter signatures needed to place the repeal of Public Act 4 (aka the Emergency Manager Law) on the November 2012 general election ballot.
According to the report, the group exceeded the 161,305 valid signatures needed by more than 40,000.
The Coalition still faces a challenge from a Republican group that claims the petitions should be invalidated because the wrong font size was used.
From a Stand Up for Democracy Coalition press release:
“This is an important step in the effort to stand up for democracy in Michigan,” said Herb Sanders, director of the coalition. “This report clearly shows that people across the state want the opportunity to vote to repeal the emergency manager dictator law. Now it is up to the State Board of Canvassers to honor the democratic process and let the people vote.”
On Thursday, April 26, 2012 the members of the State Board of Canvassers will meet in Lansing to decide if the petition will be placed on the November general election ballot. They will also have the opportunity to review a memo from the Secretary of the Board of State Canvassers that dismisses the challenges of a republican group seeking to prevent voters from deciding the fate of PA 4.